DEAR ABBY: Six years ago, I moved in with a man I love very much. (I'll call him Carl.) Four months later, his twin sister came for a visit. It was then that I learned that Carl was married, and had two children from another marriage 12 years before that one. I asked him if there was anything else I needed to know about him, and he said there wasn't.
I worked through my feelings of betrayal, and Carl obtained a divorce. We married a year later.
This New Year's Eve, another sister came to visit. As she reminisced about the family, another child from my husband's past was revealed. Abby, I had given Carl every opportunity to clean the slate years before, so I became angry. I felt betrayed again.
Both his sister and I have explained to Carl the importance of sharing one's past with a spouse. Behavior and attitudes are formed by past events, and it's difficult to understand why people think and behave the way they do without that history. Carl totally disagrees. He insists that love between two people is enough to build a future. He refuses counseling.
Am I wrong to insist that my husband face his past? I am afraid there are more secrets that will shake our foundation, although he assures me there are no more. -- ANXIOUS IN ARIZONA
DEAR ANXIOUS: Since your husband has deceived you and misrepresented himself, I don't blame you for being fearful that there may be other skeletons in his closet.
While I agree with him that love and trust are enough of a basis on which to build a future, he has shown himself to be unworthy of the trust he's expecting you to place in him. Counseling might help him form healthier living patterns -- but if he doesn't want it, it would be time and money wasted.